MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Pakistan, recent cases of persecution
15.4.2014 - (2014/2694(RSP))
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure
Phil Bennion, Marietje Schaake, Sarah Ludford, Louis Michel, Jelko Kacin, Kristiina Ojuland, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Robert Rochefort, Hannu Takkula, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Marielle de Sarnez on behalf of the ALDE Group
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0399/2014
European Parliament resolution on Pakistan, recent cases of persecution
The European Parliament,
- having regard to its previous resolutions on Pakistan,
- having regard to Art 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,
- having regard to the UN Declaration on the Elimination of all Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion and Belief of 1981,
- having regard to the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief,
- having regard to its resolution of 11 December 2013 on the Annual Report on Human Rights in the World and the European Union’s policy on the matter, condemning the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities,
- having regard to the EU-Pakistan five-year engagement plan of March 2012, containing priorities such as good governance, and dialogue on human rights,
- having regard to the Council conclusions on Pakistan of 11 March 2013, reiterating the EU’s expectations regarding the promotion of and respect for human rights and condemning all violence including against religious minorities,
- having regard to Rules 122(5) and 110(4) of its Rules of Procedure,
A. Whereas Shafqat Emmanuel and Shagufta Kasuar were sentenced to death on 4 April 2014 for blasphemy.
B. Whereas Sawan Masih was sentenced to death on 28 March 2014 for blasphemy.
C. Whereas the European Union has repeatedly expressed its commitment to freedom of religion, freedom of conscience and freedom of thought, and has stressed that governments have a duty to guarantee these freedoms all over the world;
D. Whereas freedom of thought, conscience and religion applies to adherents of religions, but also to atheists, agnostics and people without beliefs;
E. Whereas political and religious leaders have a duty at all levels to combat extremism and promote mutual respect among individuals and religious groups;
F. Whereas the European Union recently granted GSP+ status to Pakistan, subject to the implementation of applicable human rights conventions.
1. Calls on the Pakistani authorities to ensure the rule of law and internationally recognised standards of fairness and transparency are applied in any review of these cases.
2. Strongly urges the Pakistani authorities to allocate all possible resources into investigating and prosecuting cases of religious persecution,
3. Strongly condemns the use of the death penalty under any circumstances ; Calls on the Government of Pakistan to turn urgently the de facto moratorium into a real abolition of the death penalty;
4. Is deeply concerned about the situation of persecuted religious minorities in Pakistan and elsewhere.
5. Recalls that freedom of speech and expression, freedom of religion and minority rights are guaranteed by Pakistan's constitution; welcomes the measures taken in the interest of religious minorities by the Government of Pakistan since November 2008.
6. Strongly condemns all acts of violence on religious grounds, as well as all kinds of discrimination and intolerance on the grounds of religion and belief; stresses that the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion is a fundamental human right;
7. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the European Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the UN, the UN Human Rights Council, and the Government and Parliament of Pakistan.